R3: Borja still fighting, but Mohamed in 3

[3] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0 Borja Golan (ESP)  11-7, 11-7, 11-6 (46m)

World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy continued his good recent form with a commanding victory over Spaniard Borja Golan, in a tough match to end the evening’s action.

God Love Borja and may he – like James Willstrop – never retire. The passion, the desperation, the despair when he loses, or the ecstasy when he takes a point, of the Spanish El Toro is just heartwarming.

And maybe the score doesn’t tell you much but it was not easy for Mohamed, who had to work pretty hard tonight to shake off our favourite Spanish – sorry boys, but yes, he is…

A great start from Mohamed, 5/0, 6/1, 7/4, and Borja who gets close, 6/8. but a few errors here and there as pivot moments, and Mohamed takes the opener 11/7 in 16m.

Excellent response from Borja in the second. Mohamed doesn’t want to give him any hope, and will level, 3/3, 4/4, taking a good lead 7/4. Again difficult to shake off El Toro, who fights with all the energy he doesn’t have anymore after his 3 hours squash in his two previous matches. Still, he claws back to 6/7, but Mohamed has a bit more under the pedal, and it’s 11/7 in 13m.

Another strong start from the Spanish, 5/3, 6/5, but that’s it. Mohamed just sees the finish line and goes for the jugular, and won’t be stopped, stringing 6 points in a row, 11-6.

Compatriot Fares Dessouky awaits in the quarters.

Borja 

Yes, I had a little worry with my quad after the second, but it was just a little niggle, nothing to worry about, just the constant pressure on it. Very happy to be here tonight!

It’s not easy for Mohamed, coming straight from the World Open. So it’s probably quite tough mentally to come to this tournament. And I have nothing to lose.

Of course, I have played three hours of squash in the last two days, so at my age, or any age, it’s tough, because you need to be fast against a player like Mohamed.

I was moving fine, but I found that I manage to create a good opportunity on a crucial point, I was playing a very high drop shot, and he would kill me! It’s not easy when you come on the glass to play perfect shots at the front. But if you want to win against players like Mohamed, you have to play a perfect shot every time.

But once again, I’m very happy to play again against Shorbagy, it’s a dream coming here to play on the glasscourt again with the world number 3, and I cannot complain.

So a big thank you to Amr Mansi and his team, and all the people here that make this event possible.

Mohamed

“Brutal conditions, I don’t get why they want us to play in such brutal conditions but I guess it is all part of the sport. It creates more challenges for the players. Last year it was so hot here, but this year it is even hotter to be honest.

“Still, there is no excuse, it is for all players, and different kinds of conditions create different challenges for the players and yeah, I am excited to see how far I can go here.

“Borja is a legend of this sport, I looked up to him since I was a kid, so to be on court with him one more time is something I truly appreciate. I really hope I can go on court with him a few more times. He is an ex-World No.5, I have seen him play in such big matches and it is always good to have him playing well in our sport.”

“I was not in a very good place mentally for a big part of this season. I feel like I am getting my mojo back, my hunger back. Certainly, the Worlds was a good start, it is a shame because we are almost at the end of the season and I feel like I want to start this season again, you know.

“I just want to finish on a good note, and let’s see what I can do. I was a few points away last week, so let’s see if I can get those few more points this week.